The last year has been a particularly eventful time for energy efficiency policy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, with several new governors taking office, significant ideological shifts occurring in some state legislatures, the draw-down of federal Recovery Act funds dedicated to energy efficiency, and an assault on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by fossil fuel interests. States such as New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Maine find themselves at important turning points in the evolution of their energy efficiency policies and programs. Others, such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, are working to implement aggressive public policy directives to pursue energy efficiency as a cost-effective resource. Still others, such as the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, seek to establish themselves as leaders in energy efficiency policy.
One year ago, NEEP issued a report on the energy efficiency potential available to several states in the region, along with a list of policy recommendations for states to best capture this resource. This new Regional Roundup publication focuses on state energy efficiency policies from January 2011, when new governors and legislators took office through late summer when most of the legislatures wrapped up their most recent sessions. The aim of the
Roundup is to gauge progress in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states toward capturing the energy efficiency resource. While looking at the region as a whole, we provide summary and analysis of some of the biggest energy efficiency successes and setbacks in states from Maine to Maryland, including key energy efficiency laws and regulations, and changes in funding levels for energy efficiency programs.
The Roundup is intended to give policy makers, efficiency advocates, program administrators and other stakeholders a comparative view of efficiency progress and pitfalls across the region. Along with state-level highlights, this paper reveals regional trends and shared challenges in harnessing the potential of energy efficiency to meet multiple public policy goals — controlling energy costs, improving system reliability, strengthening the economy, growing jobs, improving public health and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.